Hetton National

The first National race of the year and my first ever National race in England. A bunch of about 80 riders started the race.

During the race there were 2 primes (not having bothered reading the race manual, I didn’t know when they were!!! oops). On the lap of the first sprint I was on the wheel of one of the favourites for the race, sprinting past people up the home straight I managed to get 2nd. In the 2nd prime there was one guy off the front so coming up the home straight I was on the same wheel as last time but this time had to settle for third. It was a long race of just over an hour and the fast race speed averaged 35km/h.

The end of the race fast approaching it was starting to get more tense as everyone tried to get into position for the final charge up the home straight. On the last lap, I was in a perfect position but then, coming along the back straight there was nearly a crash, I had to swerve and slow down which made me lose the wheel in front. I had to reposition for the sprint but out of the last corner I saw a gap and went for it and then ended up at the front (a bit too late) and then started sprinting up the home straight and ended up 3rd. It was a really good race and I hope to do it again next year.

North West Youth Tour

Stage 1 – The Highs….. A short Prologue time trial up a hill. After sitting about for near enough 4 hours it was finally time to start warming up and get down to business. Third last to go off I knew what I had to do to get in the hot seat, as I started it was a flat out sprint all the way up the hill, at the top I managed to get the fastest time and got into the hot seat, only to be toppled by the last rider off (by under a second)

Stage 2 – The Lows…The first proper stage of the tour and it was going to be a wet one. Gridded on the front row I was in a good position, as the race got under way it was fastish and then settled down. I was quite tired so I decided to have a wee lie down mid-way through, having had another rider get his bars tangled in mine and ended up facing the bunch as they came towards me at 43 kph (27 mph… Kph make it sound like we were going faster!!!!!!) but got back up after I had been ran over a couple of times.

Fortunately the crash was right at the start-finish line, so I had a lap out, my bike was ok, just ripped bar tape. I hadn’t faired as well with my skinsuit – shredded. However the biggest fright was looking down at my legs, which had a lot of road rash, although it looked a lot worse because my summer fruits energy gel which was in my shorts had burst!!!!!!!!!!! Got back on and finished 7th, which put me down to 8th in GC

Stage 3 – One of 2 crits on the same day. Very stiff from my lie down the day before, I lined up on the start. A flat stage run at a fast paced 25mph,, as we took the bell I wasn’t in the best position but still managed to get 4th in the sprint.

Stage 4 – Last stage of the race, still stiff I made my way over to the start. Race under way sitting in the bunch nice and happy. On the last lap I was in a much better position about 5th or 6th wheel, as we came flying out the last corner the sprint started and it was flat out all the way to the end this time I managed to get 2nd in a close finish. Finishing in 8th on GC. Brilliant fun all in, roll on next year.

Scarborough National

The last National of the year and probably the hardest, a 20% hill right at the end meaning it was going to be a hard race.

At the start I wasn’t feeling great but got on with it nevertheless. Five laps on the top nice and flat course and then 4 of the mega hilly course. The 5 laps of the top course went past relatively quickly and easy. Then, with 4 to go, it was time to go up the HILL! First lap up the hill managed to stay in for a least half of it then as we got to the steepest section I got dropped but was still passing people (not bad for a fatty sprinter). The next 3 laps were much the same a small group of us all working, slowly but surely the group got smaller and smaller until there was just 2 of us and then at the top of the hill I was in the front, coming round the last corner onto the start finish straight I started sprinting which was enough to distance the guy behind me. I think I finished 17 on the day so quite happy. Not a course built for me, but I enjoyed it and will do it again (maybe….)


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